Newcastle have confirmed the signing of Ivory Coast International Cheick Tiote, who played in all three of the Ivory Coast’s group games at the World Cup. He arrives to provide competition in the defensive midfield role currently occupied by Alan Smith. The fee was reported to be around 3.5 mill, which shows Mike Ashley has indeed provided funds for transfers. We still need to bring in another defender, possibly a winger and a striker so that we have a squad capable of staying in the Premier League and cementing a mid-table finish. Despite the 6-0 win over Villa, the main objective this year is avoiding relegation and anything else will be a plus. It is reported that Hughton is in negotiations with Man City over loan deals for Paraguay striker Santa Cruz and Ecuadorian international Felipe Caceido.
Overnight Blackpool lost 4-3 to League One outfit MK Dons in the Carling Cup, perhaps highlighting the fact they’ll struggle to deal with most Premier League opponents. West Ham beat League Two side Oxford thanks to a 90th minute goal from former Toon player Scott Parker, and with their next two games against Chelsea and Man Utd they could well have 0 points after four games. Elsewhere most Premier League teams progressed against lesser opponents. Newcastle play Accrington Stanley tonight, hopefully we see a few fringe players and youngsters get a valuable run in the first team. A Cup trophy would be amazing this year but definitely isn’t a priority so experimentation from Hughton would be expected. That said, Andy Carroll should get a chance to continue where he left off at Villa. Hughton is quoted as saying,
“It’ll be a very changed team and I don’t mind that going out. It’s quite important that the fans know that. It’s a great opportunity for the young players here that we have hopes for – it’s very much the development squad.”
Meanwhile the Jets have a bye this week, while Sydney and Melbourne Victory will be looking for their first wins against the Central Coast and Gold Coast respectively. Gold Coast will be without New Zealand striker Shane Smeltz who is set for a transfer to Turkish side Genclerbirligi. This is great news for the player to have a go in one of the emerging leagues in Europe.
The bye is good news for the Jets as they currently have a swelling injury list. It is hoped that Topor-Stanley, Shuo, Wheelhouse, Zadkovich and D’Apuzzo will all be fit for the home game against high-flyers Brisbane Roar on Sunday week.
Back to Europe and Portuguese side Braga somewhat shocked Sevilla with a 4-3 win away from home to secure a Champions League spot ahead of the classy Spanish outfit. Sevilla will now participate in the Europa League. Tottenham are looking to qualify for their first Champions League campaign against Swiss team Young Boys. They lost 3-2 away from home, so a 1-0 victory will see them through. The Spanish Primera and Italian Serie A both start their season this weekend as well.
That is all.